‘Donor conception: towards openness’ committee wins Minister for Health Volunteer Awards

VARTA is delighted that one of its nominations for the Victorian Minister for Health Volunteer Awards was announced a winner at the award’s ceremony on 18 May. The award for ‘Outstanding achievement by a volunteer: innovation award’ was presented to the volunteer committee who put together the Donor conception: towards openness exhibition in June 2015.

The award recognised the outstanding work and commitment of the volunteer committee in creating this extraordinary exhibition which explored donor conception through art, photography and archival material, with live and original musical performances held during the exhibition opening.

The committee, comprised of Kim Buck, Chloe Allworthy and Myfanwy Cummerford, donor-conceived women who curated the art, musical and photographic elements of the exhibition, and Roger Clarke, a sperm donor from the 1980s who curated the archival section of the exhibition.

In addition to the many hours that Kim, Chloe, Myf and Roger put into the creation of the exhibition, they have each also given considerable time to promoting public understanding and awareness of the issues associated with donor conception.

A big congratulations to Kim, Chloe, Myf and Roger from all at VARTA!

While VARTA’s other nomination - of Lauren Burns in the category of ‘Outstanding lifetime achievement’ - was not successful, we are delighted that Lauren was able to attend the award ceremony today with her friends and peers. VARTA continues to acknowledge the time, energy and dedication Lauren has put in over the years to ensure greater understanding of donor conception. Lauren has been a leading advocate for legal changes that give donor-conceived people the right to know more about their biological heritage; she co-founded and co-facilitates the Donor-Conceived Adult Network which meets monthly in Melbourne; she put together the 2015 National Conference for Donor Conceived People – a first of its kind in Australia; and she has provided mentoring and support to many donor-conceived people around the country.

Although not a winner on this occasion, we salute Lauren’s efforts and thank her for her contribution.